JUDGE WILLIAM MARSH. Among the prominent citizens of Quincy, whose superior abilities and splendid reputation enhance the fame of his adopted city, may be mentioned the gentleman whose name introduces this biographical notice. His record as attorney and judge, and as a progressive and active promoter of all the interests of Adams County, is worthy of note. This volume would be incomplete, especially for those by whom Judge Marsh is personally held in the highest esteem, if some reference were not made to his career.
Prior to a more extended account of the life of our subject, some reference to his parentage may not be amiss. His paternal grandfather, Ebenezer Marsh, was born in Hampshire County, Mass., and traced his ancestry to England. The father of our subject, Zimri Marsh, who was also a native of the Bay State, married Miss Crussa, daughter of Caleb Hubbard, familiarly known ad Major Hubbard of the “Plum Trees,” who resided in Massachusetts and was a minuteman during the Revolutionary War, participating in the battle of Bunker Hill. When advanced in years, the mother of our subject came to Quincy, where she died in 1864.
Born in Cayuga County, N. Y., March 11, 1822, William Marsh was the fourth in a family of seven children. He passed some time in his boyhood at a private school in Tompkins County, N. Y., and later was a student in an academy, where he laid the foundation of the broad and extensive learning which is now one of his personal attributes. His subsequent studies were carried on in Union College, New York, from which he was graduated in 1842. Having determined to enter upon a professional career, he commenced the study of law in the office of Judge Jewett, of Skaneateles, N. Y., and was admitted to practice at the Bar of the State in 1845.
Opening an office at Ithaca, N. Y., Judge Marsh continued there in practice until 1854, which year witnessed his arrival in Quincy. Here for three years he was associated in partnership with William H. Benneson, and at the expiration of that time Judge Skinner was admitted into the firm, the title being changed to Skinner, Benneson & Marsh. This connection continued until 1862, when Mr. Benneson entered the army as Colonel of the Seventy-eighth Illinois Infantry. This firm continued business under the name of Skinner & marsh until 1877, when Judge Skinner died. Afterward, our subject formed a partnership with William McFadon, which continued until 1885, when he was elected Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, comprising the counties of Adams, Pike, Brown, Schuyler, Fulton, and Hancock.
For six years Judge Marsh served on the Bench to the satisfaction of all concerned, and since that time he has lived practically retired from active business. His career has been that of the successful lawyer, eminent, trusted and honored. For perhaps a quarter of a century he has not only been an acknowledged leader at the Bar, but has also stood as one of the ablest counselors and most courageous champions of the Democratic party, of which he has been an active member from the attainment of his majority. He has been an efficient coadjutor with the best men of Illinois in perfecting the government of the State in all its institutions and departments, as well as in the up-building of his profession and strengthening of his party.
August 29, 1848, Judge Marsh married Miss Cornelia M., the daughter of Hon. J. L. Woods, of Lockport, N. Y. Judge and Mrs. Marsh have three children, namely: Mary M., wife of Don A. Sweet, of Tompkins County, N. Y.; Cornelia W., who is Mrs. C. A. Babcock, of Quincy, and Lawrence W., whose home is also in this city. Judge Marsh is closely identified with many of the industries and enterprises of the city; he is a stockholder in the First National Bank, the Quincy Gas Company, President of the Barlow Corn Planter Company, and connected with various other business enterprises of less importance. Whenever possible, he has taken an active part in all measures tending to the advancement of the city and its growth along moral, social or business lines. His pleasant home is a brick residence at No. 818 North Fifth Street, in the midst of inviting surroundings, and in one of the best portions of the city.
[Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois
containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens,
Chicago: Chapman Bros. 1892
Page 120, transcribed by Debbie Gibson, 2008]
Cornelia W. Marsh married Chester A. Babcock Dec. 31 1885, Cert# 4221, code 239 R. Marshall Harrison MG
[Source: Marriages of Adams County, Illinois 1876-1890 Vol III, transcribed by Debbie Gibson]